The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

Synopsis

In The Balkan Wars 1912-1913 , Richard Hall examines the origins, the enactment and the resolution of the Balkan Wars, during which the Ottoman Empire fought a Balkan coalition of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia.The Balkan Wars of 1912 - 1913 opened an era of conflict in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, which lasted until 1918, and which established a basis for problems which tormented Europe until the end of the century.Based on archival as well as published diplomatic and military sources, this book provides the first comprehensive perspective on the diplomatic and military aspects of the Balkan Wars. It demonstrates that, because of the diplomatic problems raised and the military strategies and tactics pursued to resolve those problems, The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 were the first phase of the greater and wider conflict of the First World War.

Excerpt

The complex and obscure Balkan Wars of 1912-13 represent the beginning of an era in European history dominated by nationalism and conflict. These wars were the first concerted effort by the Balkan peoples to emulate the Italian and German examples and establish large nationalist states. The Great Powers of Europe soon intervened. They helped shape the resolution and settlement of the Balkan Wars. The settlement reconfigured the borders of the Balkan Peninsula, expanding the south Slavic states, Greece, and Romania. Bulgaria obtained the Rhodope mountains and western Thrace; Greece took most of Epius; Greece and Serbia divided most of the greatly contested region of Macedonia between them; Montenegro and Serbia divided the former Sandjak of Novi Pazar; and Serbia obtained the largely Albanian region of Kosovo. At the same time, an independent Albania emerged and the multinational Ottoman Empire almost disappeared from the European continent. Because of overlapping rivalries and claims, the nationalist appetites of the post-Balkan War states were not sated. They all persisted in the pursuit of nationalist objectives.

The fighting begun in October 1912 in the Balkan Peninsula had not ended completely by July 1914, when all Europe became enveloped in war. For the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula, the war of 1912 persisted until 1918. Many Balkan War battlefields endured further fighting. Bulgaria occupied most of Macedonia. The Great Powers intervened again. Austro-Hungarian, British, French, German, Italian, and Russian soldiers all fought Balkan battles. At the end of the war, Bulgaria lost Macedonia and western Thrace, and Serbia achieved a maximalist nationalist program with the incorporation of the south Slavic regions of Austria-Hungary, including Bosnia, and Montenegro, into a Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia. Albania barely re-emerged as an independent state.

The Balkan states had little time to recover after the conclusion of fighting in 1918. A mere twenty years separated the First World War from the Second World War. Italy annexed Albania in 1939. The war spread to the Balkans the next year. Yugoslavia collapsed in a week under German and Italian attack in 1941. Italian-dominated Albania annexed Kosovo, and Bulgaria reoccupied

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